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Curator's Corner

March 13, 2017

 

“Not every man remembers the name of the cow which supplied him with each drop of milk

he has drunk.”

Shmuel Y. Agnon

 

Dolly Dimple might ring a bell with some of you. She’s not who you think she might be; not the cherub

faced doll with the dimples in her cheeks. The Dolly Dimple I know is something of another sort,

and I remember the first time I saw her.

Back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, I was hired straight out of trade school to work at Brockton

Tool Company in South Easton. One of my high school teachers, Paul Alvarnaz, knew the owner, Gil-

bert Holmes of Raynham, and arranged the interview for me. The general manager was Charles Barnes

of Raynham. The shop was generally busy, but once in a while a few of us would be sent off on other

missions when work was slow or a special need came up. One particular time, Mrs. Barnes called and

asked if a few of the guys could help her father and mother with some furniture moving in their house.

I was one of the workers sent over to the house on Elm Street Extension, part of the old Marshall farm.

It turns out that Mrs. Barnes was the former Brenda Nagle, and her parents were Joseph and Hazel

Nagle. Joe was the last of the head herdsmen for the Langwater Guernseys. He was hired as a milker,

and stayed through the last dispersal sale of the herd in 1960. He worked his entire life for the Ameses

taking care of one of the great Guernsey herds in America. Joe was very ill at the time, and his wife was

also on in years. In their house, amidst the moving of furniture, I saw her: Dolly Dimple! The queen of

the Langwater Guernseys had been featured in a wonderful painting that hung on a wall in the Nagle

house, given to Joe Nagle by the Ameses upon his retirement. I remember talking with Brenda about

seeing the painting and she was proud of her father’s connection to the famous Langwater herd.

After the Nagles passed on, their daughter Brenda (Nagle) Barnes received the painting and kept

it for many years. When she died at far too young an age, her husband, my former employer, Charles,

kept the painting in case his children might want it. Recently, the family property in Raynham was

sold, and Charles surprised us by donating the painting to the Society and Museum. The painting was

delivered by Rita (Nagle) Pope, and has been donated by Charles in memory of Joseph and Hazel Nagle

and their daughter Brenda (Nagle) Barnes. Dolly Dimple has come back home to Easton.

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